Cliven Bundy, “the Negro,” and the Liberal Attack Machine
It didn’t take long before the liberal media went on the attack against Cliven Bundy, especially when they found something that was racial. According to Adam Nagourney at the New York Times, here’s what Bundy had to say in an edited version of his comments:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children; they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Here’s a video of his unedited comments:
The liberal media jumped on Bundy with both feet. People like Glenn Beck and some Republicans distanced themselves from his comments. I understand why. You can’t win when the media will latch onto every misspoken word and turn into a firestorm of controversy.
Let’s begin with the word “Negro.” Most of the stories I’ve seen on Cliven Bundy’s comments point out that he used the word “Negro.” The word has fallen out of favor, just like the word “colored,” unless you’re a liberal and use “people of color.” I’ve never understood why “people of color” is any different from “colored people.” Bit since liberals have said there is a difference, there must be one.
It wasn’t that long ago that the designation “Negro” was perfectly acceptable. Even blacks used it to describe themselves. It’s my guess the word was dropped because it was the white man’s designation for former slaves. I can understand why the word was dropped.
But consider the “I Have a Dream” speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. that was delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963:
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
“But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.”
MLK used the word “Negro” 15 times in his speech. And when the speech is replayed on his birthday and on its anniversary, Negro is not bleeped out.
The Negro Baseball League comes to mind as well. There’s also the United Negro College Fund. For an older generation, the designation is still used, and not in a derogatory way.
We’re hearing that when Oprah Winfrey’s step-sister Barbara Winfrey came to visit her Chicago condo on one occasion, “Oprah got on the intercom and announced, ‘Negroes in the house. Negroes in the house.’” She claimed that she was only joking, but Barbara Winfrey considered it demeaning. Cliven Bundy did not use “Negro” in a demeaning way.
Cliven Bundy grew up in an era when the use of “Negro” was acceptable. I still hear people use it, and I don’t cringe like I do when I hear blacks repeatedly using the “N” word.
What about Cliven Bundy’s comments about the state of the black family in America? Again, it certainly was not said in the right way, and the “picking cotton” line was inappropriate. I think I know what he was trying to say, but I’m not sure.
But I don’t see any malice toward blacks in his comments. In fact, he’s trying to explain that the welfare State has ruined the black family. It’s a new kind of slavery for millions of black families. When blacks were in slavery; they knew they were slaves. Today, they think they’re free, but in reality they are salves to the State and the Democrat Party.
His comments about Hispanics didn’t make it into too many stories about his short talk. He was quite complimentary and sympathetic to those families that have made their home in America. He pointed out how cohesive and intact their families are.
All in all, I think Cliven Bundy has gotten a bad rap. He was trying to point out that the government is a destroyer, not only because of its use of force but for the way it uses its power and authority to destabilize the poor.